At universities and colleges around North America, an apparently growing number of professors are endorsing Holocaust denial, race-based IQ theories and eugenics — all ideas that were once seen as entirely discredited.
Although their claims are generally seen as outlandish and often denounced as racist or anti-Semitic within academia, some of these men and women are increasingly visible in the public eye, publishing prolifically, lecturing and meeting at a growing number of conferences that are devoted to their particular brand of "science."
Many of those interested in race science are supported by the Pioneer Fund, which gives out about $1 million a year to academics who concentrate on alleged racial differences. Here are snapshots of views held by some academics who have become objects of controversy.
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University
"I, and Holocaust revisionists generally, emphatically reject the 'extermination' claim and, by implication, any figure of Jewish dead [due to Nazi policies] in the millions," says Butz, author of the The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.
In an article in The Journal of Historical Review — a Holocaust-denial journal that has long included Butz as an advisory committee member, and which is published by the starkly anti-Semitic Liberty Lobby — Butz laments that, "[t]he revisionists of the 'Holocaust' have been, to put it bluntly, victims of multifarious persecution."
Professor of Ethnic Studies, City College of New York
Whites are cold, materialistic and evil "ice people" produced in the chilly climes of northern Europe, and blacks, thanks to the climate of Africa, are warm, humanistic and sensitive "sun people." At least that's the infamous theory first propounded by Jeffries in the 1980s.
He also has resorted to animal metaphors to describe ethnic groups: the English as elephants, the Dutch as squirrels, Jews as skunks. Jeffries once said there was a conspiracy against blacks in Hollywood "plotted and programmed by people named Greenberg and Weisberg and Trigliani."
In 1996, after a series of such remarks, he was stripped of his post as head of CCNY's black studies program.
Edward M. Miller
Research Professor of Economics and Finance, University of New Orleans
Although his training is in economics, Miller has not hesitated to dabble in race-based IQ studies and eugenics. A prize-winning newspaper story last year concluded that blacks, in Miller's view, are "small-headed, over-equipped in genitalia, oversexed, hyper-violent and, most of all, unintelligent."
Speaking of eugenics, the 19th century "science" of improving the human race through selective breeding, in "Eugenics: Economics for the Long Run," Miller concluded: "Efforts to maximize a nation's standard of living should try to improve its citizens' genetic quality, especially with regard to intelligence and other economically important traits."
J. Philippe Rushton
Professor of Psychology, University of Western Ontario
"Whites have, on average, more neurons and cranial size than blacks," Rushton told an American audience this April, adding that "[b]lacks have an advantage in sport because they have narrower hips — but they have narrower hips because they have smaller brains."
He has studied sexual characteristics in different races extensively, concluding that blacks have larger genitals, breasts and buttocks — characteristics that are in an inverse relationship to the size of their brains.
In the view of Rushton, who reportedly was once almost prosecuted under Canadian hate crime laws, Asians are the most intelligent race, followed by whites and, in last place, blacks.
Professor of Psychology, Florida State University
"Racial egalitarianism is the scientific equivalent of the flat Earth theory," Whitney wrote in his preface to former Klansman David Duke's memoir My Awakening, an unflinchingly racist tome which Whitney touted as "a painstakingly documented, academically superior work of socio-biological-political history that has the potential to change the very course of history."
A former president of the Behavior Genetics Association, Whitney told a 1998 conference hosted by American Renaissance — a magazine devoted to race and IQ — that blacks are "bigger in bone, smaller in brain," biologically specialized "primitives" who often mate with white schoolgirls.